Next up in my series of interviews to celebrate the launch of the new Gutter Books anthology ‘Waiting To Be Forgotten: Stories of Crime and Heartbreak, Inspired by The Replacements’ is Erik Arneson.
Name: Erik Arneson
Story Title: Election Day
Firstly, what drew you to this anthology?
I love the idea of repurposing song titles as short story titles. Many of my stories have borrowed titles from The Throes and Poole, two 1990s modern rock bands I really enjoy. As soon as I heard about Waiting To Be Forgotten, I reached out to Jay Stringer and asked if I could take on “Election Day.”
How did you first get into the band, and what was the first Replacements album you owned?
Pleased to Meet Me was the album that introduced me to The Replacements. It was released in 1987, so I was pretty late to the party.
How would you pitch your story to potential readers?
A news reporter is working to get her career back on track in Duluth, Minnesota, when a slimy campaign manager threatens to reveal her past.
This story aside, does music have an important influence on your fiction?
Absolutely. In my short story collection The Throes of Crime, more than half the stories borrowed titles from The Throes and Poole. I often listen to music when I’m writing. Hopefully the rhythm and, if I’m lucky, some of the lyricism finds its way into my prose every now and then.
Apart from your own one – do you have any favourite stories in Waiting To Be Forgotten?
There’s no way to choose just one. So many of the authors with stories in Waiting To Be Forgotten are personal favorites: Johnny Shaw, Jen Conley, Alex Segura, Eric Beetner, Angel Luis Colón… the list goes on.
Do you have any additional publishing plans for the rest of 2016 and 2017?
The Throes of Crime was released on September 17. It’s my first book, which is very exciting. All proceeds from The Throes of Crime will go to the James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides financial support to graduates of Wilmot High School in Wilmot, South Dakota, who display an aptitude in creative writing by authoring a short story. The fund was created in memory of my parents, who were relentlessly encouraging to me and my three sisters. Mom and Dad were also voracious readers, particularly of fiction.
My first novel, Dragonfly, will hopefully be available in early 2017.
Finally, if you had the opportunity to put together a music-themed anthology, which band or artist would you choose?
The Choir. Steve Hindalong’s lyrics are amazing, Derri Daugherty’s guitar work is mesmerizing, and the overall musicianship the band has displayed on their 15 or so albums is truly remarkable.